MCMAHON’S IMPACT REPORT 4/20: Lashley vs. Storm for the Impact Title, ODB vs. Rosemary, X-Division six-man title match

By Mike McMahon, PWTorch contributor

MCMAHON’S IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT
April 20, 2017
Live from Orlando, Fla. (Universal Studios)
Aired on Pop TV

Announcers: Jeremy Borash & “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero

[HOUR ONE]

— Impact opened with memoriam graphic for Rosey, followed by the Impact signature.

— James Storm was shown arriving earlier today. Lashley was also sign arriving at the Impact Zone.

— A video package aired on James Storm winning the World Title in 2011. Storm and Lashley clips were shown as part of the package, with interview soundbites included in the video.

— The regular Impact open aired.

— In-arena: A live shot of the crowd was shown as Jeremy Borash welcomed the audience to the show. The announce team is just JB and Pope. JB welcomed the live audience watching the show on Spike in the UK and said anything could happen when they’re live.

(1) LAX (w/Konnan, Homicide & Diamante) vs. JOEL COLEMAN & JAKE HOLMES

Santana knocked Holmes off the apron and landed an elbow on Coleman. Ortiz tagged in and landed a duplex on Coleman. Santana hit a splash off the top but Holmes broke up the pin. JB said that Coleman and Holmes were from Michigan and were trained by Scott D’Amore. Holmes tagged in. Santana hit a cutter and Ortiz hit a splash in the corner. That was followed with a cannonball from Santana. LAX hit a Street Sweeper for the win.

WINNER: LAX in 3:00

After the match, LAX celebrated in the ring as the rest of the group entered the ring.

Konnan grabbed a mic and said LAX was back. Konnan said this was about Latino empowerment. He said the power structure has been in the hands of the good old boys for too long. Konnan introduced Homicide, and said the moniker would tell you all you needed to know. Konnan said Diamante “checks ho’s” and then said that Santana and Ortiz will unleash violence like you’ve never seen before. Konnan said Orlando had a problem. Konnan said that you can stop a revolutionary but you can’t stop a revolution.

The lights went out and Decay came to the ring, led by Rosemary. LAX charged Decay on the ramp and a brawl broke out. Diamante attacked Rosemary. Homicide and Konnan looked on from the ring. Abyss made it into the ring and choke slammed Ortiz. Abyss dropped Homicide but ate a dropkick from Santana. Crazzy Steve hit the ring and the show went to a commercial break.

(McMahon’s Analysis — Good opening match that showcased LAX essentially in an enhancement match. LAX got to show off their big moves and Konnan’s promo at the end of the match explained why LAX was back in Impact. My only complaint is that it probably should have come a few weeks ago. This finally feels like the launching point for LAX).

[Commercial]

— Back from the break, highlights of the LAX-Abyss brawl were shown, including Santana hitting a dive over the top rope to the outside, taking out all of Decay and security who were at ringside.

— Karen Jarrett came to the ring. She said that tonight was a big night for Impact, because it was live. Karen said since the ownership change with Impact, they have been re-tooling things to give the fans the best the show can be. Karen then announced that Impact and Global Force Wrestling have officially merged. Karen said they are in the process of creating working relationships with companies all over the world.

Karen said that tonight is the night of champions. She ran down the title matches on the show, but was interrupted by Sonjay Dutt. He said he helped pioneer the X Division. Dutt asked Karen to make the X Division match the main event, and then asked her to put himself in there and make it a three-way. Dutt said he came there on his own dime, and he wanted to leave as the X Division champion for the first time.

Andrew Everett came to the ring and said he respected Sonjay, but he wanted his match tonight 1-on-1 because Helms made his life hell for weeks. Helms and Trevor Lee came to the ring and said Sonay was the “comeback that no-one asked for.” Helms said, if Sonjay was here for years, and never won a championship, maybe he sucks? Helms said that the X Division was run by one man, and it was him.

Bruce Prichard then hit the ring and told Helms that he doesn’t run a damn thing. Prichard said Sonjay has a helluva idea making the X Division match the main event. Prichard said they had a six-sided ring, so let’s fill up the ring with six people for a six-way X Division title match. Lee then attacked Everett and Helms attacked Dutt. Everett and Dutt fight off Lee and Helms ran for cover. Everett and Dutt then both grabbed the X Division Title and faced off.

(McMahon’s Analysis — Why can’t they just book a 1-on-1 X Division match? Why not just make it a triple threat? Why the fascination with booking 4, 5 or 6-man X Division matches? It’s just the same old stuff). 

— A video aired on Crimson. He talked about growing up in a single-parent home with his mom. Crimson then spoke about how his son grounded him and his background in the army. The graphic said that Crimson would return next week.

(McMahon’s Analysis — This video package was great. They did more here to tell you who Crimson was than they did in his entire first run. What I liked most about it is that they’re just letting him be himself. That seems to be a theme with the new ownership. That short package gave you some great background on Crimson and it’s going to be hard not to root for the guy when he shows up on the show next week).

[Commercial]

— A video hyping the Victory Road One Night Only pay-per-view aired.

(2) ODB vs. ROSEMARY [c] — Knockouts Title match

JB said that ODB played goalie at St. Cloud State University. Rosemary clotheslined ODB on the ramp and rolled her back into the ring. ODB hit a fallaway slam and some should tackles. Rosemary hit Red Wedding for the win.

WINNER: Rosemary retains in 4:00

(McMahon’s Analysis — That was a fairly quick match with Rosemary going over clean. It would have been nice to see them given some more time, but they are cramming a lot into this live show. I’m not sure where they go from here with the women’s division. Sienna seems to be tied up with the Allie storyline. Aside from ODB, I’m not sure there’s another babyface who is really ready to challenge Rosemary).

— Swoggle came down through the crowd wearing an Impact shirt. He walked around ringside. JB said that next week, Decay vs. LAX for the tag titles would happen on the show.

[Commercial]

— McKenzie Mitchell was backstage and she asked Bruce Prichard who the final three participants in the main event will be tonight. Bruce said that Suicide is the fourth competitor and he would announce the others in due time. Sienna walked in and asked Karen where she was hiding the GFW women’s champion? Karen said she would be here, and she better be ready.

— A video package aired on the Laurel-Sutter-Allie storyline.

(3) KONGO KONG (w/Sienna, KM and Laurel Van Ness) vs. CHRIS SYLVIO

Sylvio tried throwing punches at the bell but Kong just grabbed him and hit a belly-to-belly. Kong squashed Sylvio with a cannonball in the corner. Kong climbed to the top rope and hit a splash for the win.

WINNER: Kongo Kong in 1:40

After the match, Kong had his hand raised.

(McMahon’s Analysis — Wow! That splash by Kong was ridiculous, and Sylvio’s selling on it — he was basically convulsing in the ring — was really good. Same as earlier with the LAX match, this type of enhancement match gets over your new talent. It accomplished just what it needed to. Kong went to the ring and thoroughly destroyed someone, showed off what he can do, and it didn’t hurt a full-time guy on your roster. The enhancement match is a tool in the toolbox of a booker, and it’s foolish not to use them. Whether it’s rebuilding someone you’ve had to beat or getting over a new talent like Kong, they work. Even in 2017, as long as they’re quick, they work and this was a fine example of that).

— Backstage: James Storm said he was feeling good. Storm said when Lashley was laying on his back tonight, the only thing he would hear is, “sorry about your damn luck!” Storm said he had a World Title to go win.

— A video from Alberto El Patron aired. He’s not at the Impact Zone, but said he would be keeping an eye on the title match tonight.

— McKenzie Mitchell asked Magnus about his goal for returning to Impact? He said he came back at first to help a good friend. Magnus then said that he has an issue with El Patron claiming to be the No. 1 contender for the Impact World Title? He asked what he did to earn that? Magnus said he was unsuccessful in his title shot. Magnus said that El Patron should go to the back of the line, because he is the GFW Champion and that should be a golden ticket. Magnus said he also won the match for his team last week. Magnus said he’s the next in line, and he’s going to watch the match to see who he is challenging next.

— Lashley came to the ring with Josh Mathews. Borash looks confused at ringside. Borash was in the ring to handle ring introductions for the title match. Pope was trying to make sense of what was happening. Mathews walked over to the table and put on a headset and said someone needed to save this broadcast.

(McMahon’s Analysis — No! No! No! No! No! Stop it with the three-man booth! Stop it! Right now! Get Josh Mathews off that announce table right now! I mean it! … Again, the noise really brought the match down a notch for me, when it should be doing the opposite. Borash and Pope were perfect for the first hour. Sanity was returning. Now, this).

(4) JAMES STORM vs. BOBBY LASHLEY [c] — Impact World Title match

Lashley clotheslined Storm early in the match and had control with a spear in the corner.. Mathews said that Lashley told him to come out because no one else could call his match. JB announced that there would be live events happening for Impact this summer, and announcements would be made next week.

Storm clotheslined Lashley to the outside. ECIII came down from the locker room as Storm and Lashley were brawling on the outside. ECIII screamed at Mathews to sit down. Mathews was trying to give Lashley the bottle to use. Storm and Lashley continued to brawl on the outside as ECIII looked on. Lashley suplexed Storm onto the steel steps.

[Commercial]

Back from the break, Lashley slammed Storm and covered for a two count. Lashley hit a boot in the corner. Storm has Lashley set up on the top rope and hit a superplex. Storm hit a power bomb for a two count. Ref bump dropped Brian Hebner. Storm hit a pair of Last Calls on Lashley but Hebner can’t make the count. Storm kicked a chair out of the ring. ECIII tried to wake up Hebner. Storm walked to the table and picked up his beer. Back in the ring, ECIII snuck up behind Storm and grabbed the beer bottle, smashing it over Storm’s head. Storm tried to recover but Lashley hit a spear for the win.

WINNER: Lashley retains in 17:00

After the match, ECIII raised his arm on the ramp with his back to the ring. Borash said that ECIII cost Storm the match. Lashley celebrated in the ring while Mathews applauded at ringside.

(McMahon’s Analysis — The awaited ECIII heel turn is complete. The move makes sense. Impact was lacking some star power on the heel side of the roster, especially with so many new acts debuting as babyfaces — Magnus, El Patron, etc. ECIII vs. Storm is probably a match they build to Slammiversary. At least, it should be. Lashley vs. Magnus to unify the GFW and Impact Titles makes sense, so does ECIII vs. Storm and Richards vs. Edwards in some sort of gimmick blowoff match. They’ll need something for El Patron at that point, though.

Oh, if you were wondering how the commentary went … well, nothing changed. This feels like a giant rib on the audience at this point. The show was much more enjoyable for the first hour, when they had Borash and Pope just playing a straight announce team).

— Backstage, McKenzie Mitchell asked Dutch Mantel who the fifth and sixth members of the X Division match would be? Dutch confirmed the fifth person would be Dezmond Xavier and he said before the match, we would all learn who the sixth man is.

[Commercial]

— A clip from this past weekend at Border City Wrestling in Canada aired. Chris Adonis attacked Moose and posed with the Grand Championship.

— Backstage: Moose said that since he won the title, he has new enemies. Moose issued a challenge to Adonis for a match next week. Adonis walked in wearing a sling, and said that Moose assaulted him and he broke his arm. Adonis said he won’t be ready to compete next week, but he knows someone who is? Davey Richards charged in from behind and attacked Moose. Angelina Love told Moose he’d see them next week.

— A video aired on the X Division.

— Swoggle is shown cheering on Sonjay Dutt during his ring entrance.

(6) SONJAY DUTT vs. SUICIDE vs. ANDREW EVERETT vs. DEZMOND XAVIER vs. LOW KI vs. TREVOR LEE [c] — X Division Title match

Low Ki returned as the sixth man in the X Division Title match. Low Ki was wearing a suit, using the hitman gimmick, and JB said he was all business. Suicide stretched Xavier and sent Everett flying with a back body drop. Dutt covered Xavier but Everett broke it up. All six men hit a dropkick and no one connected. They all got back up for a standoff. All five guys dropkick Lee. Low Ki dove through the ropes to take out Suicide and Everett. Lee kicked Low Ki from the apron. Dutt hit a huge moonsault off the top to the outside. Xavier rolled through a hurricanrana from Dutt and landed on his feet. Xavier dove over the top rope to take out everyone on the floor.

[Commercial]

Back from the break, Everett got stomped by Trevor Lee. It’s just Lee and Everett in the ring. The announcers said that Dutt was hurt badly outside of the ring, and he had swelling on his left eye. A shot of Dutt’s eye was shown and he had a golfball-sized welt on his left eye and it was swollen shut. Everett chopped Lee as Borash and Mathews argued. Mathews said he didn’t lie, he left the announce team for a week and now he’s back. Lee covered for a two count. Lee and Everett continue to essentially make it a 1-on-1 match, throwing out other wrestlers who try to get involved. Low Ki breaks up a pin by Lee on Suicide. Low Ki kicked Lee. Xavier swung around the ring post and kicked Low Ki. Xavier tried to stomp Low Ki but he moved. Dutt picked up Low Ki but was cut off by Suicide. Suicide kicked Everett. Everett had all five opponents on the outside. Everett hit a springboard shooting star press off the top rope to the outside. Everett picked up Suicide and rolled him into the ring. Everett went for another shooting star off the top but Xavier broke it up. Xavier went to the top rope but Everett cut him off. Everett hit Frankendriver on Xavier and Lee. Low Ki hit the double stomp on Trevor Lee after tossing Everett from the ring, and Low Ki picked up the win.

WINNER: Low Ki in 19:00.

After the match, Low Ki celebrated. Mathews called Borash unprofessional for applauding Low Ki’s win. Low Ki celebrated with the belt. Borash and Mathews bickered some more … well basically, Mathews yelled at Borash for him “taking sides.” Mathews screamed that he was carrying the announce team. Pope told Mathews to go to hell and he left. Mathews told Borash he didn’t have the balls to hit him, and Borash punched Mathews as Low Ki celebrated on the ramp and the show went off the air.

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